The clean green 'mirage'

I noticed this article today that re-enforced recent thoughts of my own.

"It looks like the rest of the world is catching on to New Zealand's dirty little secret."

Fred Pearce, a columnist for The Guardian newspaper gave "the prize for the most shameless two fingers to the global community to New Zealand, a country that sells itself round the world as `clean and green', but had increased greenhouse gas emissions by a whopping 22 per cent since signing up to reduce them at Kyoto".

Mr Pearce was outraged New Zealand had a reputation for global leadership in tackling climate change, when the country's minister in charge of climate negotiations, Tim Groser, had said the Government would not try to be "leaders" in climate change.

New Zealand is well known for its natural beauty and unspoilt environment. International observers are presented with our clean green image, or 100% pure brand that trades off and requires environmental awareness and conscience to back it up.

It seems that unless a price is placed on maintaining the quality of environment on which this image is based, the most valuable asset we have, as a country, economy and living population will be continually degraded further.

Locations with tourism generate income and support communities and are generally recognised as an asset and preserved.

But there are plenty of places just out of reach of the public and our precious tourists. Common places like farms and suburbs

Suburbs (and most cities as a whole) provide little connection with the 'real world' and as such manages to devalue it.

Farms, considered by many to represent man's effective management of nature and the environment are responsible for a huge percentage of our countries carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Not only this but farmers frequently dump their rubbish in a hole in the ground or down the bank somewhere on the property. Some even burn it, creating terrible dioxins in the process.

So, how green are we really...?

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